Biaggi Says He Prefers Four-stroke Yamaha GP Bike At Presentation In Italy

Biaggi Says He Prefers Four-stroke Yamaha GP Bike At Presentation In Italy

© 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.


From a press release issued by Marlboro Yamaha:


Milan, Italy

January 11, 2002


Max Biaggi has voiced his enthusiasm for this year’s new-look MotoGP World Championship, which introduces big-bore four-strokes to the world’s fastest motorcycle racing series.

Speaking at an Italian presentation of Max and his all-new Yamaha YZR-M1 four-stroke, organised in Milan by Yamaha Belgarda, the company’s Italian distributor, the Roman revealed that he has no regrets about the change in technical regulations which will lead to the eventual demise of the two-strokes that have ruled bike racing’s premier series for quarter of a century.

“I’ve no regrets about the end of the two-stroke era, in fact I already prefer riding the M1 four-stroke,” said Biaggi, who finished second overall in last year’s final 500 World Championship aboard a Marlboro Yamaha Team YZR500. “I realise that the future is four-stroke and that’s why this is such an exciting time for motorcycle racing. Everyone is waiting for the season to start because it’s the first with all the new bikes.”

Biaggi, now preparing for his fourth consecutive global campaign with the Marlboro Yamaha Team, adapted his riding style to suit the M1 during several test sessions last year and will continue development of the machine when he commences a busy series of European tests in Spain later this month.

“I feel good on the M1, though we still have some work to do before the first race in April,” he added during the presentation, hosted by Italian TV star Federica Panicucci at top Milan nightspot, the Rolling Stone discotheque. “The main thing is that I believe in Yamaha and I believe in this project. During my three years with the factory we really improved the YZR500 and we only missed the championship by one place in 2001. So far we’ve done a good job together and I know that the M1 has more potential, so I’m hoping to go one better this season.”

Fellow Italian Davide Brivio, the new Marlboro Yamaha Team director, also expressed optimism about the new MotoGP series. Formerly team manager of Yamaha’s World Superbike team, Brivio is running the team’s push for world success from a new base outside Milan.

“This is going to be a very exciting year for everyone and I have to say it’s already been a great experience working with someone like Max,” he said. “He’s one of the best riders of all time, he works so hard and he’s so precise on the racetrack. Now it’s up to us to give him the machinery with which to win. Starting later this month we have a final two months of intensive testing with the YZR-M1. It’s hard work for everyone, for the riders, the team and the engineers, but we want to make sure that we have the right package by the time the season starts.

“In Carlos [Checa] too we have a great rider who has a lot of experience and has proved he can be very fast. He really enjoys riding the four-stroke so we’re expecting a lot from Carlos as well this year.”

Biaggi and team-mate Checa, who met the Spanish media during a Yamaha Motor Spain presentation outside Barcelona, will have their first public outing on their Marlboro Yamaha Team YZR-M1s during the IRTA team tests at Valencia, Spain, on February 15/16/17. They will ride the bikes in anger for the first time at the season-opening Japanese GP on April 7.

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